By Alex Showerman | 0 comments
Afterthis week'sdebate, everybody's talking aboutPresidentObama's "Horses and Bayonets" comment. The point he made here was important -- it was about the need to review our defense spending. Obamahighlightedthat the world has changed, and military strength is no longer about how big of a military you can amass, but how you usespecializedtechnology to keep the nation secure. To be secure we no longerneedto be a country where we continue to spend20 percent or moreon defense. This is something Mitt Romneydoesn't understand or cares to ignore because of the defense spending lobby. Romney, Ryan and thefar right-wing agenda of the GOPcall for drastic measures to reduce the deficit on the backs Middle Class. However,when it comes to defense they demand atwo trilliondollar increasein defense spending.The Romney-Ryan plan not only calls for Five Trillion in tax cuts, but also includes over two trillion in increased defense spending.Their approach will not balance the budgetand has an eerieresemblanceto George W. Bushs policies that got us into this mess in the first place. The worst part is like manyof their policiesRomney/Ryanare in the radical minority on this proposed budget.Recent pollingshowed that 80 percent of people living in districts represented by Democrats, and 74 percent of people living in districts represented by Republicanssupport cuts to defense spending. The American people are not the only ones who agree ondefense spending cuts. We all remember the Simpson Bowles Commission, and how they did not agree on much. Well there was one thingaprominent Republican, moderate Democrat and strongProgressive all agreed onthe need to cut defense spending. As progressives we all know how hard it can be to agree with moderate Democrat, so getting this trifecta to agree is quite a feat. Heres how it happened. Jan Schakowsky, a progressive champion from the northern Chicago Suburbs, like many of us was not a fan of the Simpson-Bowles proposal. As a member of the commission, she proposed her owndeficit reduction plan, which included a 200 billion dollar stimulus to spur job growth, strengthened Social Security and Medicare, called for revenue increases and cut defense spending by 110 billion. Her plan was radically different from the Simpson-Bowles proposal, and showed how progressives can invest in the economy and balance the budget at the same time. The one thing that Schakowsky proposal and Simpson-Bowles did have in common was cuts todefense spending. Simpson-Bowles proposed 100 Billion in defense cuts during the same time period. Let there be no mistake, Romney-Ryan areproposing the exactopposite and are in the extreme on defense spending. The worst part about the Romney proposal to increase defense spending by two trillion dollars, ismilitary leadership has not asked for an increase in spending. FromPolitiFact: The presidents budget calls for $487 billion in defense savings between now and 2021. Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, have both spoken up for the plan, as have the heads of all five branches of the military. Our military leaders support close to half a trillion in defense savings, while Romney calls for a two trillion dollar increase across thatsametime frame. That isout of touch with the American people and out of touch with the needs of the American Military. To recap, the American people overwhelming support cuts to defensespending, and themilitary support these cuts as well. It seems the only peoplewho do not support these cutsare Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and the Tea Partiers in Congress. When you tie this two trillion dollar increase in defense spending with a five trillion dollar tax cut, Romneys plan for deficit reduction is just the opposite. It could not be more clear that vote for Romney and Republicans down ticket is a vote for Bush era policies on steroids. We can't let that happen.Will you join fellow DFA members in pledging to vote Democrat?
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